Once a website is built or a post is published, your work has just begun. You must promote it. I looked at Facebook and Pinterest in earlier parts of this 7-part course, which are hugely important, but there are many other places to promote.
Here is a a great list of alternative places to promote your content, and possibly a few you never thought of. It is best not to put all your eggs in one basket. In other words, do not focus on one place and ignore all the other places you can promote your site and posts. Promotion does not start and end with Pinterest or Facebook, and there is so much more.
One place will usually be your best source of traffic and it may be Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram or wherever. These services are not fixed and a change to the way they work could severely impact your traffic. For example, a tweak to the Facebook algorithm that shows your page or posts to other people can severely reduce your reach and likes.
Spread yourself around to minimise the risk of losing traffic from a source you rely on. Another benefit is that you might discover another great place to share your links and promote your site and posts.
MeWe is a fast growing alternative social network to Facebook. It is still small in comparison, but it has tens of millions of users. Post updates to your own MeWe home feed whenever there is something new on your site or blog. Follow other people and they may follow you back, enabling you to build followers.
Join MeWe groups in your subject area and join in the discussions, for example, WordPress Group and Blogging and Bloggers. People may check you out and if they like your profile they may follow you. They will then see the links you share in your feed. People may like your posts and add comments you can respond to.
Read the rules about sharing links in groups because some don’t like it, or they may only allow it in certain sections. Create your own group and you make your own rules and you could attract many thousands of people to whom you could promote your site and posts.
Twitter is a good place to post links if you can build up a large enough following. You need several thousand to make a significant impact. Search for and follow people in your niche, comment on their tweets and some will then follow you back, helping to build up your follower numbers.
With Twitter, you are able to post several times a day. Mix it up with some links to your own site and articles, interesting comments, links to other people’s tweets and articles, news items and so on. Use #hashtags for keywords.
Some people have a lot of success posting to Instagram, but you do need a topic that is visual. Fashion, photography, food, photography, beauty, health and fitness often do well. Create short videos, photo posts, and use hashtags for keywords.
Post once a day and follow people, comment on their posts and engage with other Instagrammers.
Instagram is aimed almost exclusively at phone users. It can be accessed on the desktop through a browser, but bear in mind most people are using a phone, so you want posts that look good on a small screen. Link sharing is very limited, but you can post a photo or video and include a note to tell people to click the link in your bio for more information.
Stories are popular with Instgram users and you can do more with them, such as adding video, photos and small amounts of text.
LinkedIn is a social network that has a strong business bias, even more so since it was taken over by Microsoft, so it mostly suits websites and blogs that cover business issues.
It is like Facebook for business and you can post on your own news feed or you can join the thousands of groups in all manner of niches. Build your followers and follow other interesting people in your niche. Post occasionally, not daily, and bear in mind the business audience. LinkedIn is good for business-related posts and poor for fun blogs.
A long time ago, StumbleUpon was a useful link sharing and web content discovery service, but it closed in summer 2018 and was replaced by Mix. It is too early to say whether Mix will be as successful but it looks interesting and is growing.
Mix has a lot of great content and you can share links to your own site and share other people’s links as well. You create collections of links based around a particular topic.
People can follow you and share links to your site – I’m at mix.com/rwaddilove if you want to take a look. Share other people’s links and comment on them to build followers, just like you do with other social networks.
Reddit is visually dull, but its discussion forums have millions of users. Generally Reddit users don’t like people sharing links, but occasionally an opportunity arises and you can link to your content.
Don’t join and start posting all over the place because you will get blocked or labelled a spammer. Find discussions in your subject area and only occasionally post a link and only when it is relevant.
Quora is a question or answer service in which people post questions and then other people answer them. You cannot simply post links to your content, but sometimes you may have an opportunity to link to something you posted. For example, someone may ask a question and you can answer it, then add a link to a post on your site where they can get more detailed information.
People may also follow you and check out your profile information, so put your website or blog in your Quora profile. Quora also sends people your answers via email, which can then generate a lot of views, which may lead to either a link in a post or your profile.
Be careful sharing links because self-promotion is not liked, but occasionally you can get away with it.
Pocket is partly a read-later service and partly a bookmarking service. You save your favorite articles, things you find on the web, plus your own posts. You can tag bookmarks, categorize them, share them and so on. Pocket has an Explore page where it features the best and most recent posts. If you get on the Pocket Discover page, you might pick up of a lot of visitors.
Scoop.it is a free/paid content curation service that enables you to post links to interesting content you find on the web. Whenever you see a great article you think your audience will love, share it to your news feed. Of course, you can slip in the occasional link to your own site or posts. You can follow other people’s feeds and they may follow yours. Post 5 times in a day and it boosts the visibility of your posts.
BeBee is a social network designed to be similar to, but offer an alternative to LinkedIn. It directly competes with it and it has a strong business bias. It will suit some businesses, but not others and it depends on your niche. You can share a buzz (post on your home feed) or produce honey (write an article). It is a popular site and growing, possibly getting a couple of million visitors a month.
There is a blurred grey line between promoting your site or blog effectively and being a spammer. All of the above places to post have rules on the amount you can post and it varies. For example, posting 10 times a day on Facebook will get you banned for spamming, but Twitter probably won’t complain.
There are a couple of very important points to understand.
- Post other people’s content as well as your own
- Be an active member of the community – comment and join in discussions with other members
- Post less, not more, in other words don’t spam
Some bloggers and website owners post links everywhere as often as they can in an effort to get traffic, but they discover that while it does bring in some traffic, it does not get a lot. They also get kicked out of groups, such as Facebook or MeWe, or even banned from the service.
Many people have discovered that posting less actually gets more views and more engagement than posting a lot. It is the spam filters that these services use. Get labelled as a spammer and the service will limit your visibility, but occasionally post links and you look like a genuine person sharing great content, so they increase its visibility and reach.
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